LINCOLN - April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says there is help for those struggling with alcohol abuse.

Lindsey Hanlon, network and prevention manager for the Division of Behavioral Health tells News Talk WJAG alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Hanlon says about 95,000 Americans die from alcohol-related causes each year, and in Nebraska in 2020, there were 123 alcohol-attributable deaths.

She says if you’re talking to someone about their alcohol use, try to normalize the conversation.

"We know it can be uncomfortable bringing that up and so try to objective and keep an open mind with them. Ask open ended question so they feel like they have an opportunity to talk, let them know they're being heard, and really discuss the negative effects of alcohol and what does that mean in terms of you physical and mental health as well as safety in making good decisions."

Hanlon says also as kids head off to college in the fall, you should have the conversation about alcohol as they will be in different situations not experienced before.

She says you can always call the 24/7 Nebraska Family Helpline for advice on how to have the conversation.

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